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Steam Becomes the Latest to Attempt to Save Bandwidth

With us all being stuck at home during the Coronavirus self-isolation, it’s hardly any surprise that the internet is taking a bit of a hammering. Specifically, as we all desperately seek forms of entertainment. I know for a fact, for example, that the latest episode of Better Call Saul is awaiting me the moment I finish work.

In efforts to try and keep things relatively happy, however, we’ve already seen companies attempt to provide some limits to their bandwidth. For example, last week we saw Sony applying moderate download limits. In addition to that, both Netflix and YouTube have both also lowered their default video quality settings.

In a report via PCGamesN, however, Steam has become the latest addition to that list. The good news is though that this is only in a moderately benign way!

Steam (Sort Of) Limits Your Downloads!

So, what’s changed? Well, the short version is that it boils down to how many games you have installed. Well, that and how often you actually play them. Even then, it’s so benign that you’re (probably) barely going to notice it!

Rather than applying outright limits to your download speed, what Steam is doing instead is only automatically updating games you’ve played recently. Specifically, within the last 3 days. If therefore, there is an update to be had on a game you’ve been neglecting on your hard drive, while it will apply it, it’ll only look to do so when you next try to play it!

What Do We Think?

As above, it’s an exceptionally benign change, but one that will make a difference. I know for a fact that I have at least 6 games installed which I haven’t touched in over a week. As such, if stopping any automatic updates until I next play them can help make a difference, it’s no skin off my nose! In fact, it makes so much sense that part of me wonders if they’ll just keep this as standard policy. Something about it just makes sense.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Should it be retained permanently? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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